On Jan. 10, The Texas National Guard and state troopers blocked the United States Border Patrol agents from a 2.5-mile stretch of the Rio Grande in Eagle Pass, preventing federal agents from patrolling that part of the border, according to a court filing by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), escalating the clash between state and federal authorities on the Texas-Mexico border. 

Troopers and National Guard members started to take full control of the 47-acre Shelby Park on Wednesday night, constructing concertina wire and fencing at the park to close off access to the public. The park will be closed indefinitely as the state takes action to prevent immigrants from illegally crossing the border into Texas.

“Generally speaking, I do know that the immigration issue in Texas and along our southern border has become an unfortunate problem for Gov. Abbott and many other mayors and governors around the country,” history teacher Stephine Amidon said. “Something must be done to solve this problem. Presidents Trump and Biden both have stated they would build a wall along the border to stop or slow the flow of illegal immigrants.  Unfortunately, with Congress being so polarized, the funding for the wall and other immigration policies can’t move forward due to a lack of a sound federal budget.”

State officers and National Guard members also have denied Border Patrol agents entry to the park, where agents routinely used a boat ramp to launch their boats to patrol the Rio Grande. There is also a staging area at the park that Border Patrol agents use to inspect migrants who have been apprehended in this part of the border.

The state of Texas is beginning to face major backlash from the action they are taking on the border. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has threatened the state of Texas, accusing them of acting unconstitutionally in blocking Customs and Border Protection’s access to Shelby Park in Eagle Pass. The Justice Department has threatened to take action if the state does not bring their patrolling to a halt. 

It is being argued, however, that DHS resources could be put to better use over other issues pressing about the border other than Texas’s actions. 

“The U.S. Department of Homeland Security should stop wasting scarce time and resources suing Texas, and start enforcing the immigration laws Congress already has on the books,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said. 

Texas has until Jan. 14 to stand down from their actions on the border, according to a letter they received from DHS General Counsel Jonathan Meyer. If they do not respond by ceasing their efforts to block the border, the issue will be handed off to the DOJ to restore Border Patrols access to the border.

“The recent actions by the state of Texas have impeded operations of the Border Patrol,” Meyer said. Those actions conflict with the authority and duties of Border Patrol under federal law and are preempted under the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution. Texas’s actions also improperly seek to regulate the federal government.”